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Oregon

Open Government Guide

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Author

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Foreword

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Open Records

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I. Statute

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A. Who can request records?

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1. Status of requester

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2. Purpose of request

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3. Use of records

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4. Can an individual request records on behalf of a third party or organization?

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B. Whose records are and are not subject to the Act

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1. Executive branch

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2. Legislative bodies

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3. Courts

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4. Nongovernmental bodies

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5. Multi-state or regional bodies

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6. Advisory boards and commissions, quasi-governmental entities

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7. Others

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C. What records are and are not subject to the act?

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1. What kinds of records are covered?

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2. What physical form of records are covered

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3. Are certain records available for inspection but not copying?

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4. Telephone call logs

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5. Electronic records (e.g., databases, metadata)

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a. Can the requester choose a format for receiving records?

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b. Can the requester obtain a customized search of computer databases to fit particular needs

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c. Does the existence of information in electronic format affect its openness?

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d. Online dissemination

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6. Email

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7. Text messages and other electronic messages

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8. Social media posts

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9. Computer software

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10. Can a requester ask for the creation or compilation of a new record?

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D. Fee provisions

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1. Types of assessable fees (e.g., for search, review, duplication) and levels or limitations on fees

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2. Particular fee specifications or provisions

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3. Provisions for fee waivers

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4. Requirements or prohibitions regarding advance payment

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5. Have agencies imposed prohibitive fees to discourage requesters?

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6. Fees for electronic records

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E. Who enforces the Act?

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1. Attorney General's role

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2. Availability of an ombudsman

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3. Commission or agency enforcement

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F. Are there sanctions for noncompliance?

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G. Record-holder obligations

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1. Search obligations

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2. Proactive disclosure requirements

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3. Records retention requirements

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4. Provisions for broad, vague, or burdensome requests

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A. Exemptions in the open records statute

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1. Character of exemptions

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2. Discussion of each exemption

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B. Other statutory exclusions

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C. Court-derived exclusions, common law prohibitions, recognized privileges against disclosure

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D. Protective orders and government agreements to keep records confidential

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E. Interaction between federal and state law

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1. HIPAA

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2. DPPA

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3. FERPA

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4. Other

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F. Segregability requirements

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G. Agency obligation to identify basis of redaction or withholding

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III. Record categories - open or closed

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A. Autopsy and coroners reports

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B. Administrative enforcement records (e.g., worker safety and health inspections, or accident investigations)

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C. Bank records

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D. Budgets

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E. Business records, financial data, trade secrets

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F. Contracts, proposals and bids

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G. Collective bargaining records

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H. Economic development records

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I. Election Records

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J. Emergency Medical Services records

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K. Gun permits

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L. Homeland security and anti-terrorism measures

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M. Hospital reports

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N. Personnel records

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1. Salary

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2. Disciplinary records

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3. Applications

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4. Personally identifying information

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5. Expense reports

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6. Evaluations/performance reviews

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7. Complaints filed against employees

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8. Other

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O. Police records

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1. Accident reports

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2. Police blotter

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3. 911 tapes

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4. Investigatory records

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5. Arrest records

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6. Compilations of criminal histories

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7. Victims

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8. Confessions

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9. Confidential informants

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10. Police techniques

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11. Mugshots

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12. Sex offender records

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13. Emergency medical services records

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14. Police video (e.g, body camera footage, dashcam videos)

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15. Biometric data (e.g., fingerprints)

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16. Arrest/search warrants and supporting affidavits

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17. Physical evidence

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P. Prison, parole and probation reports

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Q. Professional licensing records

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R. Public utility records

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S. Real estate appraisals, negotiations

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1. Appraisals

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2. Negotiations

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3. Transactions

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4. Deeds, liens, foreclosures, title history

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5. Zoning records

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T. School and university records

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1. Athletic records

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2. Trustee records

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3. Student records

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4. School foundation/fundraising/donor records

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5. Research material or publications

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6. Other

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U. State guard records

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V. Tax records

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W. Vital Statistics

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1. Birth certificates

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2. Marriage and divorce

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3. Death certificates

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4. Infectious disease and health epidemics

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IV. Procedure for obtaining records

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A. How to start

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1. Who receives a request?

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2. Does the law cover oral requests?

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3. Required contents of a written request

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4. Can the requester choose a format for receiving records?

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5. Availability of expedited processing

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B. How long to wait

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1. Statutory, regulatory or court-set time limits for agency response

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2. Informal telephone inquiry as to status

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3. Is delay recognized as a denial for appeal purposes?

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4. Any other recourse to encourage a response

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C. Administrative appeal

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1. Time limit to file an appeal

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2. To whom is an appeal directed?

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3. Fee issues

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4. Contents of appeal

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5. Waiting for a response

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6. Subsequent remedies

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D. Additional dispute resolution procedures

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1. Attorney General

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2. Ombudsperson

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3. Other

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E. Court action

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1. Who may sue?

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2. Priority

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3. Pro se

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4. Issues the court will address

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a. Denial

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b. Fees for records

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c. Delays

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d. Patterns for future access (declaratory judgment)

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5. Pleading format

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6. Time limit for filing suit

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7. What court?

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8. Burden of proof

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9. Judicial remedies available

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10. Litigation expenses

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a. Attorney fees

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b. Court and litigation costs

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11. Fines

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12. Other penalties

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13. Settlement, pros and cons

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F. Appealing initial court decisions

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1. Appeal routes

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2. Time limits for filing appeals

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3. Contact of interested amici

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G. Addressing government suits against disclosure

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Open Meetings

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I. Statute - basic application

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A. Who may attend?

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B. What governments are subject to the law?

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1. State

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2. County

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3. Local or municipal

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C. What bodies are covered by the law?

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1. Executive branch agencies

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a. What officials are covered?

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b. Are certain executive functions covered?

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c. Are only certain agencies subject to the act?

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2. Legislative bodies

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3. Courts

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4. Nongovernmental bodies receiving public funds or benefits

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5. Nongovernmental groups whose members include governmental officials

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6. Multi-state or regional bodies

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7. Advisory boards and commissions, quasi-governmental entities

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8. Other bodies to which governmental or public functions are delegated

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9. Appointed as well as elected bodies

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D. What constitutes a meeting subject to the law

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1. Number that must be present

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a. Must a minimum number be present to constitute a "meeting"?

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b. What effect does absence of a quorum have?

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2. Nature of business subject to the law

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a. "Information gathering" and "fact-finding" sessions

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b. Deliberation toward decisions

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3. Electronic meetings

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a. Conference calls and video/Internet conferencing

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b. E-mail

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c. Text messages

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d. Instant messaging

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e. Social media and online discussion boards

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E. Categories of meetings subject to the law

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1. Regular meetings

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a. Definition

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b. Notice

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c. Minutes

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2. Special or emergency meetings

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a. Definition

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b. Notice requirements

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c. Minutes

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3. Closed meetings or executive sessions

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a. Definition

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b. Notice requirements

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c. Minutes

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d. Requirement to meet in public before closing meeting

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e. Requirement to state statutory authority for closing meetings before closure

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f. Tape recording requirements

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F. Recording/broadcast of meetings

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1. Sound recordings allowed

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2. Photographic recordings allowed

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G. Access to meeting materials, reports and agendas

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H. Are there sanctions for noncompliance?

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A. Exemptions in the open meetings statute

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1. Character of exemptions

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2. Description of each exemption

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B. Any other statutory requirements for closed or open meetings

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C. Court mandated opening, closing

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III. Meeting categories - open or closed

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A. Adjudications by administrative bodies

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1. Deliberations closed, but not fact-finding

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2. Only certain adjudications closed, i.e. under certain statutes

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B. Budget sessions

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C. Business and industry relations

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D. Federal programs

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E. Financial data of public bodies

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F. Financial data, trade secrets, or proprietary data of private corporations and individuals

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G. Gifts, trusts and honorary degrees

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H. Grand jury testimony by public employees

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I. Licensing examinations

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J. Litigation, pending litigation or other attorney-client privileges

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K. Negotiations and collective bargaining of public employees

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1. Any sessions regarding collective bargaining

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2. Only those between the public employees and the public body

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L. Parole board meetings, or meetings involving parole board decisions

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M. Patients, discussions on individual patients

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N. Personnel matters

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1. Interviews for public employment

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2. Disciplinary matters, performance or ethics of public employees

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3. Dismissal, considering dismissal of public employees

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O. Real estate negotiations

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P. Security, national and/or state, of buildings, personnel or other

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Q. Students, discussions on individual students

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IV. Procedure for asserting right of access

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A. When to challenge

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1. Does the law provide expedited procedure for reviewing request to attend upcoming meetings?

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2. When barred from attending

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3. To set aside decision

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4. For ruling on future meetings

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5. Other

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B. How to start

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1. Where to ask for ruling

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a. Administrative forum

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b. State attorney general

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c. Court

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2. Applicable time limits

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3. Contents of request for ruling

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4. How long should you wait for a response

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5. Are subsequent or concurrent measures (formal or informal) available?

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C. Court review of administrative decision

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1. Who may sue?

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2. Will the court give priority to the pleading?

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3. Pro se possibility, advisability

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4. What issues will the court address?

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a. Open the meeting

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b. Invalidate the decision

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c. Order future meetings open

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5. Pleading format

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6. Time limit for filing suit

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7. What court?

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8. Judicial remedies available

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9. Availability of court costs and attorney's fees

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10. Fines

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11. Other penalties

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D. Appealing initial court decisions

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1. Appeal routes

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2. Time limits for filing appeals

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3. Contact of interested amici

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V. Asserting a right to comment

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A. Is there a right to participate in public meetings?

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B. Must a commenter give notice of intentions to comment?

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C. Can a public body limit comment?

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D. How can a participant assert rights to comment?

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E. Are there sanctions for unapproved comment?

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Appendix

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